“There was no [individuality] and we were all in this together,” said CdM senior captain Madie Smith, who paced the Sea Kings’ offense with 46 assists. “We all played as a team. The energy in our first game wasn’t too good, but our energy in the last three was awesome.”
A good portion of Smith’s sets went to junior Claire Ham, who ended up with 19 kills and six block assists to lead CdM in both categories.
But beside the one-two punch of Smith to Ham, the Sea Kings displayed how dangerous they can be with a balanced offense as Amanda Nickel, Mary McKennon, Morgan Boukather and Sydney Brombal compiled eight kills each for CdM (29-6). Boukather, a junior outside hitter, sat out the first set because of soreness in her back and shoulder.
“Claire was unstoppable,” Gan said. “[But our offense] was easily distributed all around so it was good.”
Gan added that Smith, who also led the Sea Kings with 12 digs, has consistently put CdM in winning situations all season and facilitates the balanced attack.
“She’s a captain in every sense of the word,” Gan said of Smith. “Obviously it’s a team effort and she’s just one part of that effort, but she does make a lot of key choices for us to be successful in the long run.”
The Sea Kings consistently had a comfortable four- to six-point lead in most of the sets, but when Ramona (24-10) cut the lead down to one or two, it was Smith and Ham who led a mini-run to sway the momentum back on CdM’s side.
“She was on fire tonight,” Smith said of Ham. “I could count on her every time. That’s definitely something that helped us a lot. I think she did a really good job of getting up, seeing the block and hitting around it.”